Baseball Cardinals heating up

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Matt Ballweg and Middleton’s baseball team won all three of their games last week./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Truth be told, Middleton’s chances of winning a second straight Big Eight Conference baseball title range somewhere between slim and none. Powerful Janesville Craig remains unbeaten in league play and has jumped to No. 3 in the state rankings.

But the Cardinals have put themselves back in the hunt for a top-three finish.

That’s because Middleton swept a pair of games from Beloit Memorial last week.

The Cardinals edged the visiting Purple Knights, 3-1, last Tuesday. Middleton then toppled host Beloit, 10-3, last Thursday.

The Cardinals improved to 8-5 overall and 6-4 in the conference, which is good for fourth place. Middleton is also just ½-game behind Sun Prairie (8-5, 6-3) for third place in the league.

“We had a nice bounce-back week after not playing our best baseball against Madison West or Madison Memorial,” Middleton manager Brent Jorgensen said. “Last week, we had clutch hitting in all our games that helped determine the outcome and we put the ball in play more frequently than the week before. Our ability to win games has seemingly coincided with our ability to put the ball in play and put pressure on the defense.”

In Middleton’s home win over Beloit, Matt Ballweg pitched five solid innings and earned the win. Ballweg allowed five hits, one earned run, struck out four and walked just one.

Ben Collier threw the final two innings and earned the save.

Middleton trailed, 1-0, in the bottom of the fourth when it struck for a pair of runs.

Collier singled with one out and Jacob Meinholz was hit by a pitch. Remington Lockwood followed with a single, but Collier was thrown out at home.

Connor Smith then reached on an error that scored Meinholz and courtesy runner Matt Esser.

In the fifth, Brian Frisciante scored when Adam Casali reached on an error to give the Cardinals a big insurance run.

Two nights later, Collier threw five strong innings and earned the win. Collier allowed two earned runs, four hits, struck out seven and walked just one.

“Our pitching continues to be a strong suit and we have made great improvements on the defensive side of the ball,” Jorgensen said.

Middleton senior center fielder Cooper Holewinski had a huge night at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a double and four RBI. Collier also had a pair of doubles, scored a run and had an RBI.

Casali went 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. And Dylan Carrington was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

Middleton also defeated host Bay Port, 6-4, in a non-conference game last Saturday. Brooks Kalscheur had a two-run single in the ninth inning that lifted the Cardinals to victory.

Collier also had two hits and two RBI, while Hodgman had a pair of hits.

Logan Schultz picked up the win in relief, throwing 3 2/3 innings and allowing just three hits and two earned runs.

“We seem to have found a rhythm now that we have played consistently for the last few weeks,” Jorgensen said. “I'm hoping that rhythm continues into the games this week and we continue to grow and develop as a team.”

• On deck: Middleton was at Janesville Parker Tuesday, then hosts Parker Thursday at 5 p.m. The Cardinals then host Madison West Saturday at 11 a.m.

 

April 23

MIDDLETON 3, BELOIT MEMORIAL 1

Beloit Memorial....000 100 0 — 1 7 2

Middleton.............000 210 x — 3 7 0

Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Hollenbeck (6-0-0-0-3); Collier (2-0-0-0-3); Ballweg (5-0-1-1-4).

Leading hitters — BM: Ovist 2x4, Locke 3x3. MID: Meinholz 2x2.

 

MIDDLETON 10, BELOIT MEMORIAL 3

Middleton...........120 111 4 — 10 13 0

Beloit.................000 200 1 — 3 6 3

Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Collier (5-0-2-1-6), Hodgman (1-0-0-1-1), Schultz (0.2-0-1-0-1); Ovist (1.1-0-1-1-1); Kiger (1-0-1-0-1); Dixon (3-0-2-1-1); Locke (1.2-0-3-2-0).

Leading hitters — MID: Holewinski 3x3, Carrington 2x4, Collier 2x4, Casali 3x5. 2B — Holewinski, Collier2. 3B — Casali. BM: 2B — Ovist, Kiger.

 

MIDDLETON 6, BAY PORT 4

Middleton............. 020 002 0 — 6 9 3

Bay Port............... 010 003 0 — 4 7 1

Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Schultz (W; 3.2-0-0-1-4), Ballweg (5.1-0-1-3-4); Verlanic (4-0-2-1-3); Noe (2-0-2-0-1); Highline (2-0-0-0-3); Slaasted (L; 1-0-2-3-0).

Leading hitters — MID: Collier 2x4. 2B — Holewinski, Collier, Casali. : Cano 3x4, Thielke 2x5. 2B — Berg.

 

 

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